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Game 74 Preview: WBS Penguins @ Norfolk

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
One of the biggest divisional rivalries this season for the Pens in my opinion. And yes, I think the Norfolk guy on the left is holding three helmets!

The Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins traveled to Norfolk and take on the Admirals tonight at The Scope, 7:15 p.m. EST.  The Pens will have a different look after a bunch of roster moves were made between Sunday and today.

First off, Brad Thiessen was reassigned to WBS and will most likely get the start in goal after the team taxed John Curry all three games over the weekend. Patrick Killeen and Alex Grant were sent to Wheeling (ECHL) and they added some younger players to the roster in defenseman Victor Ekbom (Swedish Elite League) and forward Paul Thompson (UNH - College Hockey). Sarnia Sting defensive product Joe Rogalski was added to the team last week. A note on all three guys on my previous post here.

The Basics
Norfolk: 72 games played - 4th East Division, 37-21-8-6, 88 points
WBS Penguins: 73 games played - 1st place East Division, 52-20-0-1, 103 points

Season Series: WBS Penguins lead 4-3
Previous 10 games - NOR: 6-3-0-1  WBS 7-2-0-1

Follow the action in tonight's game thread that will be up at 6:30 p.m. EST. Puck drops at 7:15. Follow the blog on FaceBook and follow my Twitter feed for Penguins updates.

Players to watch and final thoughts after the jump.

Players to Watch
Norfolk: Former WBS Penguin forward Marc-Antoine Pouliot leads the Admirals in scoring with 20 goals and 40 assists in 61 games this season. He's continued his almost point per game clip in March with 12 points (3G, 9A) in his last 13 games. Blair Jones has six points (3G,3A) in five games against the Pens this season.

WBS: Keep an eye on Ben Street and Bryan Lerg tonight. Street has only played with the team regularly since February but has 19 points (12G, 7A) in his last 25 games. it's no surprise that Street was recently named to the ECHL's all-rookie team. 

Lerg's OT goal in Hershey on Sunday clinched the division for the Pens and gave Lerg five points in his last four games (2G,3A). Lerg was signed to a PTO at the beginning of the season and has definitely earned his spot on this roster, especially over the last month or so.

Final Thoughts
Closing in on the end of the regular season with only six more games after tonight. A win will put the magic number to clinch the AHL's number one overall seed in the playoffs to five points. Norfolk needs to keep pace with everyone else in the East Division, trailing 3rd place by three points and only leading the 5th place Binghamton Senators by one point.  The Pens will need to continue to play their game and need a full 60-65 minute effort tonight to get the two points and come back to Wilkes-Barre for two home games on Friday and Saturday.

Game thread will be up at 6:30 p.m. EST. Puck drops at 7:15. Join in the conversation in the game thread, or check my twitter feed for in game updates. Tonight's recap will be up shortly after the game.

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